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Lightly Seasoned by Karl Hardy

Wednesday 27th September 2017

I started in seasonal events volunteering in November 2015 at Discovery Museum before continuing at Stephenson Railway Museum later in the month. My very first role in events was Seasonal Events Volunteer at Discovery Museum with Events Co-ordinator Cheryl McCarrick, which involved wrapping empty boxes as presents to put around the museum. I was very excited to be doing this role, but soon found I was unable to actually wrap the boxes! Instead, I volunteered in communications helping with laminating and cutting out. I was pleased I could help with something else that needed to be done! Later I put up Christmas decorations at both Discovery and Stephenson Railway Museum. This was a great opportunity to put my skills to good use.

For Eurovision 2016, I helped make Swedish flags (as Sweden was the host, having won the year before). I enjoyed this (very short) role. It only lasted about two hours! It was good.
I wrapped various boxes, of all shapes and sizes, to be mock presents, at Stephenson Railway Museum during the summer of last year. I applied for the role again, despite my failings of November the year before, which were nothing short of epic. Once I knew what I was doing, with some help from Cheryl, I thoroughly enjoyed the role.
I also helped with Halloween decorations at Stephenson last year, in a similar role to my Christmas and Easter decoration roles at Stephenson. I will be helping with the Halloween decorations at Stephenson in the role of Seasonal Events Decorator again next month. I always look forward to putting up the decorations in our venues, and it’s nice to see our venues decorated ready for our special events.



As Christmas approached last year, I helped put goody bags together for SEN (Special Education Needs) children, who were going on the train rides. I then helped put the goody bags and other presents onto the carriages ready for Santa Specials.




Sometimes my role has been smaller, like putting up posters or sweeping floors and other times slightly more work, like cutting out tickets for events. Wrapping empty boxes as presents was probably the biggest job.
Whether the job is small or large, the difference is is that the Museums visitors get more enjoyment from seeing that we have made the effort to reflect the season.
The saddest job is taking down the decorations!
In addition to my behind the scenes events roles, I have volunteered at Discovery for Christmas events and at Stephenson for Santa Specials (including a heritage train ride from Middle Engine Lane to Percy Main for the first time) and Day out with Thomas events. I liked these roles because the visitors enjoyed their days. Santa Specials and Day out with Thomas were both attracted a lot of visitors.
For Santa Specials I helped children make badges using a badge maker. My Day out with Thomas role included craft activity, soft play and buggy park roles.
During the recent summer holidays I volunteered for family crafts roles at Arbeia Roman Fort and South Shields Museum and Art Gallery. I have volunteered in similar roles throughout my volunteering. Seasonal events includes assisting the Learning Teams across a variety of TWAM venues. Craft activities that the Museums have usually link with an exhibition, for example; Fabricating Fashions linked with the Fabricating Histories exhibition. This was an alternative histories exhibition with a steampunk flavour at Discovery Museum. Lego Brick painting linked with Little Lego Landmarks at South Shields Museum and Art gallery. This was an exhibition where famous South Tyneside landmarks were recreated in Lego.
My next role is Science Uncovered Assistant at the Great North Museum on Friday evening, for a special event.
Next month I will be volunteering at Discovery Museum and Stephenson for Halloween events, in the role of ‘Halloween Haunter’ for a spooktacular event ‘Spooky night at the Museum’ in the Newcastle Stories Gallery and Halloween Specials, including train rides at Stephenson. Both roles will be fangtastic opportunities!
Events are undoubtedly a good opportunity for visitor giving. Heritage Open Days, Tynemouth Model Boats, Willington Waggonway and more. Visitors are so generous in their donations.

Seasonal events roles are varied, even though Christmas makes up a large amount of the work and is probably the first thing you think of when you think about seasonal events.



  1. Gravatar for Karl Hardy

    Karl Hardy28th Sep 2017

    I must say, I smiled at your use of the word 'present' in your comment to a seasonal events blog post! I enjoy the huge range of things I get involved with. I look forward to all the roles I will get involved with in the future.

  2. Gravatar for twmuseums_usr

    twmuseums_usr27th Sep 2017

    The huge range of things you get involved with is huge. Thank you for everything you do in the past, present and future, Karl!

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